Group H – Kick-off 19:45 (BST)
Coach Laszlo Boloni insists Standard de Liege will not be overawed by the occasion as they travel to Champions League Group H leaders Arsenal needing to win to keep the pressure on second-placed Olympiackos.
Victory over the Greek champions last time out gave Standard a lifeline and Boloni has cause for optimism. “Standard have played well in England before and we hope to continue that,” he said.
Arsene Wenger is hoping his Arsenal side can pick up the point that would secure their passage to the last 16 for the tenth successive season.
“We have a good opportunity this week to qualify for the next round and to win the group,” said Wenger. “It is important to finish top as you could have a disadvantage in the draw by finishing second.
“Beating Standard would be the perfect way to respond after the disappointing result (1-0 defeat at Sunderland) at the weekend. How you react to defeat is how you judge a big team. The mood is currently one of disappointment that we lost a game we didn’t expect to lose, but we have to remember that Sunderland had one shot on target and scored one goal.
“When you watch tapes of Standard you think, ‘We should beat them,’ but they have shown they are a team that has the capacity to raise their game. They did that against us, they did it against Olympiacos and they did it against Alkmaar. They are a team that are always well-focused.”
Boloni, whose players can draw upon impressive performances against Liverpool and Everton in the preceding 18 months, says his team will not be daunted tonight.
“It is always a great feeling to come to England and play in a football temple such as this one,” he said. “We are all very happy to play here and it would be nice to be happy when we leave the stadium as well.
“Standard have played well in England before and we hope to continue that. After what we did against Liverpool, Everton and even Arsenal [a 3-2 defeat] in the first game, I think Arsenal will have a good word for us and show us respect.
“Unfortunately, I have to leave Jovanovic out. He has struggled with injury since the first match against Arsenal, he has not trained properly and he returned from international duty injured. Against Gent [on Saturday] he played almost on one leg.
“I like the simple way Arsenal play and I greatly admire Arsene Wenger. We must do more than just fight. It is not easy to wage war without the ball. We will be organised and do our utmost to play to our strengths. Our team is very young but I don’t think they will be overawed by playing in front of a big crowd in such a big stadium.”